A Journey of Prayer

The Order of Christian Funerals


At a death, the Catholic Church offers immense support and consolation through the Order of Christian Funerals — a journey of prayer for the deceased by the mourners. The various prayers, rituals, music, silence and gestures are expressions of invisible emotions and feelings. The rites express a situation that is ideal, while requiring pastoral adaptation to a situation that is real. Ordinarily, the Order of Christian Funerals includes three parts:  Vigil,  Mass of Christian Burial (Funeral Mass) and the Rite of Committal.

  • Vigil may be at a funeral home or at the deceased's parish, either the night before or right before the Mass of Christian Burial.
  • As a norm, the Funeral Mass is celebrated with the faith community where the deceased belonged, so the parish is the locus for this final send-off.
  • Rite of Committal occurs at the cemetery either at grave or crypt side, or in a chapel, if available.

At times, the Vigil with period of visitation service or a Rite of Committal with period of visitation has been held at our chapels. Since the cemetery is the final resting place, we encourage gathering here, rather than no gathering anywhere. Inquire first with the cemetery about options and costs before scheduling.

A Tradition of Comforting Concern

Mailing Address
Archdiocese of Milwaukee Catholic Cemeteries
7301 West Nash Street
Milwaukee WI 53216


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